In an interview with Inven Global, Mun "Oner" Hyeon-jun, T1’s now-seasoned jungler, peeled back the layers on the team’s roller-coaster ride through this year’s League of Legends season. The prestigious Summoner’s Cup remains in their sights, even as T1 has faced ups and downs, particularly during the summer season. A pivotal point came with the temporary sidelining of their star mid laner, Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok, which saw T1 momentarily falter in the LCK standings. However, upon Faker's triumphant return, the team roared back into contention, clinching their spot in the LCK Summer Finals and subsequently securing their berth at Worlds.
Diving deep into their most recent clash against Bilibili Gaming (BLG), Oner revealed the team’s burning desire for redemption. "We were highly motivated to beat them, so our mindset played a significant role in our success." Their last face-off at the MSI ended unfavorably for T1, which fueled their determination for this encounter. The team emphasized strategic preparation, especially when it came to the draft phase, ensuring they approached the match with every possible advantage.
On discussing the unique format of this World Championship, Oner expressed his appreciation for the refreshing change. While he was familiar with short-term sets, the significance of each match in this format did not go unnoticed. The introduction of the draw show, where opponents are pinpointed before the actual game day, added an element of surprise, amplifying Oner’s overall experience.
The spotlight inevitably turned towards Faker. Oner was effusive in his praise, stating, "Well, aside from his leadership qualities, Faker is the most seasoned player in the LCK. He possesses a lot of experience, especially from the earlier years, like the 2010s. At times, he would share with us about certain metas or macro plays that were prevalent back in the day. This knowledge has occasionally given us an advantage, helping to broaden our perspective in recent games and series."
Yet, while Faker is undeniably a titan within the team, Oner emphasized that leadership is a shared burden. The entire team rallies, with each member taking charge in their respective roles. Delving further into the personality of Faker, Oner portrayed a multifaceted individual: while he showcases intense passion and high standards in professional settings, away from the game, he reveals a more compassionate, almost brotherly demeanor.
Oner wrapped up by expressing his admiration for the powerhouse teams participating in the championship. Their formidable prowess has left a mark on him. However, with this being his third World Championship appearance, he's channeled all his acquired wisdom and experience, setting the stage for a standout performance.
As the World Championship unfolds, all eyes will be on T1. Given these candid insights from Oner, fans can brace themselves for a thrilling and passionate chase for the Summoner's Cup.
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